Posted: November 10, 2017
Last modified: November 3, 2017
The I-4 Ultimate team has started building a pedestrian bridge to span Kirkman Road (State Road 435) that will increase mobility for walkers, bicyclists and drivers in the heavily traveled corridor.
When completed in 2018, the pedestrian bridge will span Kirkman Road just north of the intersection with Major Boulevard. The new bridge will make it much easier and safer for residents and visitors to walk or bike between the east side of Kirkman Road, where many hotels and businesses are located, to the Universal Orlando area on the west side.
Crossing Kirkman Road on foot is currently a challenge because the street-level pedestrian crosswalk stretches across nine lanes of traffic. The new bridge not only will make it safer for people and vehicles in the area, but it also will reduce the number of times traffic on busy Kirkman Road must come to halt to allow pedestrians to walk across 140 feet of traffic lanes – nearly half the length of a football field.
In September, crews started preparing the area for the eventual placement of support piers and entrance ramps by driving piles into the ground before pouring concrete foundations. The 186-foot-long bridge will be fully assembled before hoisting it onto the supporting structures.
“The bridge spanning Kirkman Road will be a steel-truss structure that will be fully preassembled on the ground and then lifted onto the support piers by a crane in a single overnight operation,” said Roger Miller, P.E., who is Senior Transportation Engineer for RS&H, Inc. and part of the I-4 Ultimate team.
The pedestrian bridge is 14 feet wide with a walking surface that varies from 8 to 10.5 feet across. Planners are finalizing ideas for the decorative and aesthetic features of the bridge. In addition, sidewalks in the area near the bridge also are being improved as part of the project.
Although the bridge does not cross Interstate 4, the pedestrian bridge serves the overall goal of the I-4 Ultimate project to improve mobility and safety throughout the 21-mile corridor.